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How to Recover Permanently Deleted Messages on Messenger in 2023

Hey there! Have you ever accidentally deleted a super important message on Facebook Messenger and kicked yourself for not being more careful? I‘ve totally been there too. I know how frustrating it is to lose meaningful conversations or vital information and wish you could somehow magically get them back.

Well, don‘t lose hope just yet! The truth is, you actually can recover deleted Messenger messages in many cases. With the right tools and techniques, it is possible to retrieve conversations you thought were gone forever.

In this detailed guide, I‘ll walk you step-by-step through the best methods I‘ve found for restoring deleted messages on Messenger, based on my own experience as an online privacy advocate. We‘ll also look at some pro tips to keep your messages safe so they never get deleted in the first place.

Let‘s start by looking at how Messenger handles deleted messages behind the scenes, so you understand what you’re up against.

How Messenger Deletes Messages

When you delete a message or conversation in Messenger, it might seem like it vanishes instantly. But in reality, deleted messages tend to stick around on Facebook‘s servers for a while before being purged.

According to Facebook‘s data policy, they can retain deleted Messenger messages for up to 90 days before permanently erasing them. So in many cases, you have a roughly three month window to recovery recently deleted messages before they are gone for good.

However, there are a few important caveats:

  • Deleted messages remain recoverable only on the device they were removed from. So if you delete a chat on your iPhone, you can‘t then restore it later on your computer.
  • Facebook may sometimes clear cachedMessenger data without warning, meaning messages get deleted sooner than the 90 day limit.
  • The recipient of your message will still have the conversation saved on their end of Messenger unless they also deleted it.

Knowing these key facts about how Messenger handles deletions sets the right expectations for what you can recover. Next, let‘s explore some proven techniques to restore as many of your deleted chats as possible.

Techniques to Recover Deleted Messenger Messages

Over the years, I‘ve found several reliable methods for retrieving deleted Messenger messages and conversations. Here are the top strategies I recommend trying:

1. Use a Specialized Messenger Recovery App

One of the quickest and most effective ways to restore deleted Messenger messages is to use a dedicated recovery app. These apps work by continuously monitoring Messenger and saving copies of all your conversations, including those you intentionally delete.

My personal recommendation is an app called EyeZy. I like EyeZy because it lets you secretly monitor Messenger activity on someone else‘s device, allowing you to view even messages that they deleted themselves.

EyeZy works by capturing screenshots, keystrokes, and chat logs in real-time on the target phone or tablet. Even if the user deletes a Messenger conversation, the app preserves a copy that you can view at any time.

Some key benefits of using EyeZy to recover deleted Messenger messages:

  • Easy remote access: No need for device access, just the target‘s email address.
  • Real-time monitoring: See incoming and deleted messages as they are sent.
  • Message history access: Scan and recover previous Messenger conversations.
  • Completely hidden: EyeZy stays invisible on the device for total discretion.

If you need to quickly restore deleted Messenger chats without the sender‘s cooperation, a specialized app like EyeZy is by far your best bet.

2. Check Archived Conversations

Here‘s a little known Messenger recovery trick: chats you "delete" can actually just be archived, allowing you to restore them later.

Messenger‘s archive feature removes conversations from your main view but still preserves them on Facebook‘s servers. You just have to know where to look.

To recover deleted Messenger chats that you may have accidentally archived:

On mobile:

  1. Open the Messenger app and tap your profile picture.
  2. Tap "Archived" to see your archived message threads.
  3. Long press the conversation you want and tap "Unarchive."
  4. The chat will reappear in your main messages list as if it was never deleted!

On desktop:

  1. Click your profile pic at the top left of Messenger.
  2. Select "Archived Threads" from the dropdown menu.
  3. Hover over a conversation, click the 3 dots icon, and select "Unarchive."
  4. The retrieved chat will be restored to your regular message view.

Searching your archived conversations is an easy way to resurrect Messenger messages you thought were long gone. You might be surprised what archived chats are still lurking out of sight!

3. Download Your Facebook Data Archive

As a Facebook user, you have the right to download an extensive archive containing your personal data from Facebook‘s servers. This includes your complete Messenger history – even deleted conversations that haven‘t been permanently purged yet.

Here are the steps to recover deleted Messenger messages using your Facebook data archive:

  1. Go to your Facebook Settings and click "Your Facebook Information" in the left menu.
  2. Under "Download Your Information," click "View."
  3. Select "Messenger" as the information type. Choose a custom date range if you only want messages from a specific period.
  4. Click "Create File" to start compiling your data archive. This may take a while depending on how much data is included.
  5. Once ready, Facebook will email you a download link to access your archive.
  6. Search the "Messages" folder of your archive for the deleted conversation you want to restore.

With this method, you can recover entire Messenger conversations as long as the messages occurred within the date range you specified when creating the archive.

4. Ask the Sender to Resend It

Sometimes the easiest way to retrieve a deleted Messenger conversation is to simply ask the other person involved to send it to you again.

Since deleting Messenger messages removes them only from your side of the chat, the sender still has the conversation saved in their own message history.

If it was an important talk, politely ask the sender if they can simply take a screenshot of the chat or copy/paste the messages to you again. Most people are happy to help recover a deleted conversation if you explain it was a genuine mistake.

Of course, this method only works if the sender still has the chat. If they also deleted the conversation themselves, you‘ll need to try more advanced recovery techniques. But it never hurts to ask!

5. Attempt Data Recovery on Your Device

Lastly, if all else fails, you may be able to use data recovery software to salvage deleted Messenger conversations right from your phone‘s storage.

Advanced recovery apps like FoneDog Android Data Recovery scour your device‘s memory for residual data left over after deletion. They can reconstruct entire messaging histories, including Messenger.

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Download and install the recovery software on your computer.
  2. Connect your phone to your computer and grant the app data access permission.
  3. Select "Messenger" and scan your device storage for recoverable files.
  4. The app will return any deleted Messenger conversations it was able to restore from residual data on your device.

Just keep in mind this method is hit or miss, since data recovery depends on your specific phone and when the messages were deleted. But it‘s one last option that occasionally pans out when all else fails.

Prevent Losing Messenger Messages in the First Place

The easiest way to avoid having to recover deleted Messenger chats is to keep them from getting deleted unintentionally to begin with.

Here are some handy pro tips to safeguard your Messenger history:

  • Turn on chat backup – Messenger can automatically back up your messages to the cloud on a regular basis. Enable this in Messenger‘s settings.
  • Export important chats – Manually save special conversations via screenshot, copy/paste or export to PDF so they exist outside Messenger.
  • Archive don‘t delete – When possible, archive old Messenger threads instead of deleting them entirely. Archived chats are easy to restore.
  • Add send delay – Use an app like Unsend for Messenger to delay sending messages for up to 10 seconds, giving you time to undo mistakes.
  • Think before deleting – Train yourself to pause and double check before hitting delete on Messenger.
  • Backup your device – Use your phone‘s built-in tools or backup software to create regular device backups containing your Messenger data.
  • Use Messenger on desktop – Desktop Messenger allows you to right-click conversations to copy, export and backup chats.

Following these preventative measures will help ensure you never have to worry about losing your Messenger history again!

FAQs About Recovering Deleted Messenger Messages

You probably still have some questions about how to restore deleted Messenger conversations. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How can I tell if a Messenger message is permanently deleted?

There is no definitive way to confirm if a Messenger message is gone for good. Signs that a message is likely unrecoverable include if you‘ve exhausted all these recovery methods unsuccessfully or more than 90 days have passed since the message was deleted.

Do deleted Messenger chats stay on Facebook‘s servers forever?

No, Facebook only retains deleted Messenger messages for up to 90 days before permanently erasing them. So if you want to have any hope of recovering a deleted conversation, act as soon as possible.

Can I restore deleted Facebook Messenger messages without the sender‘s help?

In many cases, yes. Recovery apps, archived messages, and Facebook data downloads allow you to restore deleted Messenger conversations independently. You only need to turn to the sender if those methods fail.

What happens if I delete a Messenger conversation on both sides?

If both you and the sender delete a Messenger chat, it becomes extremely difficult to recover unless you previously backed up the conversation. Your only hope is attempting data recovery on your actual device.

Is it possible to retrieve deleted Messenger group chats?

It‘s very challenging to restore deleted Messenger group conversations since the messages only resided on your device. Your best chance is to ask a group member if they still have a copy of the chat you could rejoin.

How far back can I recover old deleted Messenger messages?

You can only restore Messenger messages deleted within the last 90 days, as that‘s how long Facebook retains them. The older the deletion, the less likely recovery becomes. So act fast if you want to save old chats.

I hope these responses help answer any lingering questions you have about reviving deleted Messenger conversations! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any other recovery tips.

Final Thoughts

Accidentally losing meaningful conversations or vital information on Messenger can feel devastating. But with the right tools and techniques, it‘s possible to recover a surprising number of messages you thought were gone forever.

To recap, your best options are specialized recovery apps, searching archived chats, downloading your Facebook data, asking the sender, or attempting mobile data recovery. And make sure you take precautions to prevent deletions in the first place!

If you follow the strategies I laid out in this guide, you stand an excellent chance of rescuing your deleted Messenger history. Never give up hope just because a conversation was deleted. With some effort, those messages can almost always be found again.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to help fellow Messenger users recover important conversations.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.